Nov 3, 2009

Which MBA format is better? Full Time MBA vs. Part Time MBA vs. Online MBA.

Being in a business school it has become more clear to me on what MBA offers to an average student. Masters in Business Administration (MBA) offers two important things: Academic education and Networking. Two primary reasons why one would pursue an MBA are career change and career augmentation. However there are mainly three types of program to chose that you want to pursue: Full time MBA, Part time MBA, and Online MBA.And often a valid question is asked – which MBA is right for me? Full Time or Part Time or Online.

Well this question needs to be answered from different perspective. Let’s take a closer look: Each one of the program types (FT, PT & ON) puts different weights on the amount of each part (education and networking) of the MBA so your decision should be based on which part you think will be more important. Which one you should find more important should be based on the reason you chose an MBA.

A full-time MBA program will probably give you equal parts education and networking. A part-time MBA program will give you more education than networking – probably a 65%/35% split in favor of education. An online MBA program will give you even more education than networking than the part-time program – probably a 30%/70% split.

According to me, Full-time programs always offer “better” than part-time and online programs simply because full-time means you’re 100% immersed in the action. If you want to change your career, you want as much networking as you can get. If you want to augment your career or in other words just go up the ladder without disrupting your career, you’ll want as much education as you can and as little networking as you’ll need (your work is your network in this case). In fact, if education is all you want, save yourself the cash and enroll in the Personal MBA.

Ultimately, it comes down to who you know (networking) and how well you perform when the opportunity is presented to you. All the education in the world – even from higher ranked schools (be it from Harvard or Stanford) won’t help you if you don’t know your stuff – the MBA is not a ticket to free lunch. Remember there’s no free lunch in the world! In fact, a lot of very rich and successful businessmen and women have no more than a high school diploma.

These are just my views. Please feel free to share yours!

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